The summer of 1902 I was at Coney Island, speaking in Steeple-Chase Park, and a man was very insulting to me, and always took occasion to say something against women. I can scarcely remember how it was, but I broke or smashed his show case of cigars and cigarettes. I knew I would have to pay for it, but I did not mind paying for the object lesson that it would be, for tobacco is a poison, and the use of it is a vice. I was arrested, stood my trial and was being sent to jail, when Mr. Tilyou, Manager of Steeple-Chase Park, took me from the “Black Maria.” The policeman who had the prisoners in charge was purple and bloated from beer drinking, he wanted me to go in a place in the front that was already crowded with women. I refused and he struck me on the hand that was holding to the iron bars of the little window and broke a bone, causing it to swell up. I said: “Never mind, you beer-swelled, whiskey-soaked saturn faced man, God will strike you.” In six weeks from that time this man fell dead on the streets of Coney Island. This was the first time I every had handcuffs on. I saw in this experience in Police Courts in Coney Island what I never saw before, eight or ten women sentenced for drunkenness; one the mother of five children, and the others nice looking young ladies, and most of them were weeping. When they received their sentences there would be a smothered laugh from the audience of bloated men present, and I turned and said: “Shame on you, for laughing at the sorrows of these poor women.” I thought how heartless it was for men to laugh at the disgrace of women. I got out by paying for the destruction of the cigar case.
I was very successful and made enough money to pay $125 a month to have my smasher’s mail published in the form of a magazine, but having no one in Topeka that could edit the magazine, doing justice to me, I returned and closed the business.
LEGAL STATUS OF PROHIBITION AND JOINT SMASHING,
The very highest judicial authority, the Supreme Court of the Nation, has made a most radical ruling, towit: “No legislature can bargain away the public health or the public morals. The people themselves cannot do it, much less their servants. Government is organized with a view to their preservation and cannot divest itself of the power to provide for them.”—101 U. S. 816.
No state, therefore, can license or legalize immorality, vice or crime. All such efforts are treason to society and organized government.
Again, the Supreme Court of the United States has declared: “If the public safety or the public morals require the discontinuance of any manufacture or traffic, the hand of the legislature cannot be stayed from providing for its discontinuance, by any incidental inconvenience which individuals or corporations may suffer.”—97 U. S. 32. Thus the legislature of any state can confiscate property by wholesale if necessary for the protection of the community. Powder mills, slaughter houses and pest houses, necessary institutions, are frequently so condemned and rendered absolutely worthless.